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Msg# 9541

MEFA Reviews for Tuesday, November 11, 2008 (Part Two) Posted by annmarwalk November 11, 2008 - 22:02:43 Topic ID# 9541
Title: Seeking the Sun · Author: Linda Hoyland · Races: Men · ID: 488
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2008-11-11 17:38:35
This story packs a wallop, particularly in the first few paragraphs.
"Seeking the Sun" presents Aragorn's Coronation from the point of view
of a woman left destitute and homeless during the Siege of MInas
Tirith. It's mostly a character piece, as the woman has an
understandable axe to grind with the incoming administration.
Aragorn's reaction is immediate, personal, and well in keeping with
Tolkien canon and Linda's sizeable array of Aragorn stories.

That the king might involve himself in the plight of a single
individual might seem remote from our day. However, in the Middle Ages
in Western Europe, such an incident was hardly extraordinary. This
vignette gives us a glimpse of the type of monarch we want Aragorn to be.

Title: Messengers from the West · Author: Jay of Lasgalen · Genres:
Drama: Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 98
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2008-11-11 19:01:18
This is a very fun interlude that left me grinning in delight. It's
wonderful to think that during his long wandering, Aragorn might have
gotten the occasional touch of home. A clever premise, and I could
feel Aragorn's elation.

Title: Apart · Author: Nieriel Raina · Genres: Drama: Gondor
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 551
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2008-11-11 19:03:24
Very nice: I liked the parallel thoughts in the beginning, the avid
determination that they would each take responsibility for their own
actions and seek redress. It seemed very fitting for their characters.

The idea that these two have areas of their friendship that cannot
(yet) bear full disclosure is realistic, and I thought it
well-explored here. I have long-lasting friendships like that too,
where you love and respect one another, but also realize that there
are certain subjects best left at "agreeing to disagree".

Title: Moonset over Gondor · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Drama:
Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 652
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2008-11-11 19:04:21
This is a lovely concept that Raksha explores: Faramir reflecting upon
past and present, and (characteristically) thinking of those who
cannot enjoy the freedom and beauty and hope that he can. I liked the
quiet way that his companion is gradually introduced, and the gentle
but certain reassurance that is offered. Faramir's response to this -
realignment from subtle mourning to looking forward to the future -
underscores the deep bond between these two, and felt wholly
appropriate to me.

I thought the author employed a very nice use of more formal language,
too; natural and not stilted, and fitting for the serious subject.

Title: The Roses of Imloth Melui · Author: Aervir · Genres: Drama:
Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 435
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2008-11-11 19:04:38
This series is a fascinating take on a one-dimensional minor character
in the Houses of Healing. I enjoyed it all the more, I think, because
Aervir takes Ioreth on a circuitous route to her scenes in LotR (which
are not even directly mentioned), and gives her some alternate touches
of characterization than what many might have done.

The result is a three-dimensional portrait of a hard-working woman,
with ups and downs and many struggles, and more than a passing
acquaintance with death even from her childhood - in short, a
realistic and interesting individual. I enjoyed how unobtrusively the
rose theme was worked into each drabble, and how well each flowed to
the next even when large gaps in time occurred.

Title: Vengeance's Folly · Author: Rhapsody · Races: Elves: Noldor
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 718
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2008-11-11 19:48:07
An evocative portrait of the sons of Feanor at a low point in their
fortunes. Excellent descriptions and good use of that lovely line by
Tolkien, here spoken by Maglor.

Title: Feelings of Superiority · Author: Gwynnyd · Times: Multi-Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 362
Reviewer: Dawn Felagund · 2008-11-11 21:49:13
This series shines for showing perspectives not often seen in
Tolkienfic. In particular--being partial to Elves myself--I really
enjoyed those from the Vanyarin and Avarin perspectives. Especially
the former are often mocked by fans for their seeming frivolity when
compared to the Noldor and Teleri; Gwynnyd does well in showing how
they find meaning in their existence.

Title: Silver Blossoms Blown · Author: Ignoble Bard · Races:
Cross-Cultural · ID: 646
Reviewer: Dawn Felagund · 2008-11-11 22:07:00
This short piece does a wonderful job of capturing Varda's voice, her
wonder in her first encounter with the Elves, and has touches of
Valarin mysticism that make it a delight--I would love to see this
expanded to find out more about Varda's sensing of aspect and
foresight. But my favorite thing about this story is how Ignoble Bard
shows Varda's almost giddy enthusiasm. In Monday-morning
quarterbacking the mistakes the Valar made where the Elves were
concerned, it is easy to forget this most basic love that underlay
most of their decisions.

Title: Incarnation · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres: Humor:
Drabbles · ID: 242
Reviewer: Dawn Felagund · 2008-11-11 22:16:07
Oh dear, this was terribly funny! Gandalfs apprentice shows both a
mastery of humor and the drabble form with this piece ... and it
certainly answered some questions I had always had about incarnation
and its effects on Ainur! Very nicely done and highly recommended!

Title: Creation Myths · Author: Tanaqui · Genres: Drama: General
Drabbles · ID: 300
Reviewer: Dawn Felagund · 2008-11-11 22:22:22
The premise of this drabble is itself insightful: a comparison of Ea
and the Silmarils. While my interpretation of Feanor and the Silmarils
is not in complete agreement with Tanaqui's, I really enjoyed the way
that this pair of drabbles underscored the very important role of
creation in Tolkien's works. Nicely done!

Title: An Elf-lord Revealed · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Multi-Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 406
Reviewer: Dawn Felagund · 2008-11-11 22:49:56
Glorfindel is a fascinating character, and this series deftly explores
many aspects of what makes him so. First Age fan that I am, my
favorite was the first, but the myriad ways that someone so "minor" as
Glorfindel (minor enough to be written out of PJ's movies, at least!)
touched so many lives across the history of Middle-earth is skillfully
presented in this series.

Title: Maglor's Song · Author: Robinka · Genres: Poetry: Drama · ID: 398
Reviewer: Dawn Felagund · 2008-11-11 22:54:21
My favorite ideas in Robinka's poem are that Maglor's might is
incapable of what is most desired: to bring peace. I also like the
idea that Maglor's voice can still be heard but only by those who
listen for it and that it pleas to remember his mistakes. Nicely done!

Title: Wild Swan · Author: Tanaqui · Genres: Drama: Gondor
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 328
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2008-11-11 23:01:37
I suppose I can be forgiven for blathering on and breaking into
high-pitched squees when trying to review this particular drabble
series: Tanaqui has managed to smoothly link together over a thousand
words on my favorite LotR character.

Nonetheless, I'll attempt some sort of dignified commentary...

Tanaqui's series flows so naturally and magnificently, too; one would
think that each drabble was created with a set story arc and ending in
mind, instead of scattered over most of a year's time and growing out
of a variety of prompts. Through it all, Imrahil's character remains
true to his core being but is still allowed to develop with maturity,
into the beloved warrior and prince from the books.

The snapshots encompass clear and well-defined moments, every one of
them telling a delightful (or moving, or chilling, or uplifting, etc.)
story complete with excellently chosen "chapter" titles. The
descriptions envelop me, bringing the scenes to shimmering life.
Somehow, the author's careful and precise word choices also leave room
for wonderful bits of dialogue and secondary character development,
all in lovely and appropriate language. The overall title complements
the entire series and fits my image of the Prince of Dol Amroth perfectly.

I admit, I think my favorite is the final installment: the description
of Imrahil breaking into that joyful smile is etched indelibly in my
mind, but I fall in love with it again with every rereading...


Title: Journeys of Vása · Author: Dawn Felagund · Races: Elves:
Incomplete · ID: 140
Reviewer: Larner · 2008-11-12 00:08:29
How wonderful it is to look at the first rising of the Sun over Arda
from such divergent points of view, including this last one by a
survivor of Fingolfin. Myth, artificer, self-professed
bureaucrat--each has a different tale to tell, all of them equally
valid in the end.

The quality of the telling, particularly in the original, is
marvelously lyrical and poetic, truly in keeping with the mythical
nature of that particular telling. Alas for Tilion, who saw the object
of his devotion raped by Melkor and who could not protect her--or the
world afterwards--from that evil.

Marvelous series.